As we’ve discussed in other posts, love may look and feel a bit different for spouses whose loved ones are struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone shows their love in different ways. One of our family members began writing about his wife’s journey with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. He imagines the world through her eyes. He has been gracious enough to share his writing with us and allow us to share. We think that he has a unique insight into what she is experiencing and how he can bring her joy.
Chocolate covered cherries, with the exception of Outer Banks Fudge has always been my favorite candy. I often found myself checking the store shelves in October and November until the candy was available at the store. Jim has kept some here at Commonwealth for me.
This morning, he came and fed me breakfast like normal. Then, he and I spent about an hour in the serenity room. He held me the whole time. Jim walked with me back to the common area next to the dining room to find me a comfortable seat for the morning. After I sat down, Jim went to my room and came back with some chocolate cherries for me.
As I was eating the first one, Hannah, the activities director walked in the room, and she looked at me with a surprised look on her face and asked with an astonished tone, “Patricia, are you eating chocolate in the morning?” I just smiled and nodded yes as Jim gave me a second piece of candy. By now, Hannah was thoroughly entertained by my eating candy. Hannah followed up her first question with, “Has Jim always fed you chocolate in the morning?” This time I answered, “No.”
The next question was “When did you train him to do that?” I just started laughing. Hannah then came to my chair and was laughing with me and giving me a hug. Then she asked, “Do you think I should train my boyfriend to give me chocolate in the morning?” and “Could you help me with that?”
By now all three of us were laughing together. I enjoy treats like chocolate covered cherries. I also enjoyed laughing. I don’t think I laugh enough.
Being able to create a moment like this is just wonderful. Jim knows her love for candy. Hannah knows how to make her giggle. These moments are created by families working together with our team to help us create a person-centered program. Knowing that she loves these candies gives us this opportunity to bring her joy if she’s having a hard day. Having our team handle logistics of daily life makes it possible for families to focus on being husbands, wives, sons and daughters instead of caregivers. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia and are curious to learn more about our Sweet Memories program, please visit our Memory Care page.